Onesies Add Up in New Market
By Carole Sloan, Founding Editor-in-Chief -- Home Textiles Today, 10/30/2006 12:00:00 AM
Pick and pack. Pic & pac.
It doesn't matter how you spell it, but it represents a quiet undercurrent that is pervading the home textiles world.
After six days at the High Point Market (the new, more friendly moniker for the International Home Furnishings Market), there seems to be a groundswell of interior designers and small retailers that are seeking out better than basic/promotional stuff for consumers. And seeing the crowds at some of the showrooms, the reports are more than pure legend. Imagine interior designers flying to High Point, N.C. on private planes with their clients to shop for something more than a 24-piece bedding-in-a-bag package. There were lots of them.
But even more important, both in High Point and at the multitude of home textiles markets around the country this year, we've been hearing more and more reports about the growing role of the small specialty retailer.
These are the folks that actually work one on one with customers, find out what they are looking for, and develop a bedroom, living room or whatever, that fits their desires and pocketbooks.
As the home textiles world has become more containerized over the last decade, the smaller retailers of home textiles have basically been left out in the cold from the mainstream suppliers – and of course new suppliers who love onesies and twosies have emerged.
Fast forward to the last couple of years, and especially the last year, there's been an increasing number of mainstream suppliers that now have two-faceted businesses — a major segment for the container crowd, and a smaller, boutique segment for the top-of-the-line market. And it's amazing how these folks have relearned the meaning of pick and pack — the pulling off the shelves of a onesie here, and a onesie there and putting it into a package.
The exhibitors in High Point certainly were key players in this arena, and those potential exhibitors walking the halls definitely knew what was expected of them down the road.
There's a whole, huge segment of the consumer home textiles business that has been abandoned by the mainstream folks. It will take time for them to get back to speed, but some already are doing it — and doing it well, with considerable sales revenues, and profitably.
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